Bourdais Leads Newman/Haas 1-2

Sebastien Bourdais has taken pole position for the inaugural Grand Prix of San Jose after topping the times in the one and only qualifying session on Saturday afternoon

Bourdais Leads Newman/Haas 1-2

The reigning champion got the better of an exciting duel with Newman/Haas teammate Oriol Servia, which saw the pair trade fastest time throughout the 35-minute session.

The Illinois-based team have been in a class of their own all weekend, with Bourdais having set the pace in every practice session except for the short pre-qualifying warm-up, which fell to Servia.

Forsythe Championship Racing's Paul Tracy will start tomorrow's race from third on the grid despite having to forfeit his best time as penance for causing a red-flag stoppage when he spun and stalled at Turn Six in the early stages.

The Canadian will be flanked on the second row by RuSPORT's AJ Allmendinger, who vaulted up the timing charts in the second half of qualifying having languished in the lower midfield for much of the weekend.

The young Californian will be aiming for a solid podium result to atone for his costly faux pas in the last two races, which have provoked an almost unhealthy degree of introspection and self-deprecation on his part.

Mario Dominguez produced one of his better qualifying efforts of the season to line up fifth in the second Forsythe entry, while Nelson Philippe, who has been one of the stars of the meeting so far, took sixth.

The just-turned-19-year-old took to the run-off area at Turn Three early on in the session but rebounded to claim the best starting position of his Champ Car career.

Timo Glock (Rocketsports Racing) and Bjorn Wirdheim (HVM) will form an all-rookie fourth row, while a slightly out-of-sorts Justin Wilson could manage only ninth in the second RuSPORT car. Jimmy Vasser (PKV Racing) rounded out the top ten.

The session was interrupted by a series of red flags signalling spins and accidents around the unforgiving street circuit.

Dale Coyne Racing's Ricardo Sperafico was impressively quick in practice this morning but it counted for nothing after he clouted the wall at Turn Four ten minutes into qualifying and broke his right-front wheel.

Fellow rookie Andrew Ranger brought the session to a slightly premature conclusion when he nosed his Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Lola into the tyre barrier at Turn Six, continuing a nightmare weekend for the 18-year-old French-Canadian.

Compatriot Alex Tagliani also faces a long race tomorrow after his Team Australia Lola's suspension failed, apparently due to duress over the severe bumps of the 1.5-mile street course, which taxes shock absorbers and springs to the limit as the cars traverse assorted light rail lines and manhole covers.

With overtaking opportunities at a premium on the narrow, wall-lined track, there is a high likelihood of incidents and full-course yellows tomorrow afternoon. Patience, and starting from the first couple of rows of the grid, are likely to be the keys to success.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Sebastien Bourdais Newman Haas 54.243 14 2. Oriol Servia Newman Haas 54.305 + 0.062 17 3. Paul Tracy Forsythe 54.570 + 0.327 14 4. A.J. Allmendinger RuSPORT 54.604 + 0.361 13 5. Mario Dominguez Forsythe 54.654 + 0.411 22 6. Nelson Philippe Mi-Jack Conquest 54.878 + 0.635 14 7. Timo Glock Rocketsports 54.895 + 0.652 15 8. Bjorn Wirdheim HVM, Inc. 55.054 + 0.811 12 9. Justin Wilson RuSPORT 55.093 + 0.850 11 10. Jimmy Vasser PKV 55.414 + 1.171 15 11. Andrew Ranger Mi-Jack Conquest 55.434 + 1.191 5 12. Rodolfo Lavin HVM, Inc. 55.449 + 1.206 18 13. Cristiano da Matta PKV 55.773 + 1.530 22 14. Ricardo Sperafico Dale Coyne 55.972 + 1.729 4 15. Ryan Hunter-Reay Rocketsports 56.019 + 1.776 20 16. Ronnie Bremer Dale Coyne 56.452 + 2.209 4 17. Alex Tagliani Team Australia 56.616 + 2.373 3 18. Marcus Marshall Team Australia 57.687 + 3.444 18 
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